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The Girl and the Clockwork Cat

(Clockwork Enterprises #1)

3.96  ·  Rating details ·  383 ratings  ·  100 reviews
Feisty teenage thief Maeko and her maybe-more-than-friend Chaff have scraped out an existence in Victorian London’s gritty streets, but after a near-disastrous heist leads her to a mysterious clockwork cat and two dead bodies, she’s thrust into a murder mystery that may cost her everything she holds dear.

Her only allies are Chaff, the cat, and Ash, the son of the only murd
Paperback, 274 pages
Published September 2nd 2014 by Createspace
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Nikki McCormack The cat's name is Macak. I took it from a reference I found that said Tesla's cat's name was Macak. :)…moreThe cat's name is Macak. I took it from a reference I found that said Tesla's cat's name was Macak. :)(less)
Nikki McCormack There is some romance, though it is not intended as a major part of the book plot.

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Average rating 3.96  · 
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Amber at Fall Into Books
I went into The Girl and the Clockwork Cat thinking it'd be a cute, light story to read, but it's so much more than that. McCormack combines two of my favorite things (steampunk and cats). Also, she doesn't pull any punches when it comes to dealing with life on the streets, and her sensory descriptions make Maeko's life seem very real. The characters themselves also come across a realistic and easy to relate to. Furthermore, McCormack's world-building is top notch. I really enjoyed every aspect ...more
Aug 15, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Maeko and her friend and mentor Chaff are street rats in Victorian London, trying to survive as best as they can. Maeko was abandoned by her mother, a Japanese prostitute, and she never knew her father; Maeko also wants to help her mum pay off debts that make her life difficult. One evening, while attempting to steal, Maeko and Chaff are almost caught by the authorities, and when hiding from them, Maeko finds a cat with a mechanical leg. The friends are discovered by a man named Garrett and his ...more
Sep 02, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I received a copy of this book in exchange for an unbiased review. No other consideration was offered, expected or received.

I am a huge fan of science fiction and steampunk, so when this came up for grabs from Entangled Teen, I had to give it a go. I've read several good books published from Entangled Publishing, but I must say that I like the Entangled Teen side the most. Yeah, it may have romance in the story, which I grudgingly read while mumbling under my breath (haha), but along with the ro
3.5 stars

Arc provided by Entangled Publishing through Netgalley

In a time when we're assisting to a growing demand for stories able to respect the world's, people's, readers diversity, here is a story that breaks with the old fashioned pattern.
*thumbs up*
Maeko our main character _as the name indicates _is of Asian ascendency. Her mother is Japanese.
Therefore she has the built, and appearance of someone with that heritage....

I can't remember the last time I read a book in which the main c
Aug 31, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ebook, requested
I went into this novel not really sure of what to expect. While I love the fashions and stylings of steampunk, I admittedly haven't read many books in that genre. When I read the blurb and saw the cute cover for this one, I figured I would give it a shot. I enjoyed this far more than I anticipated, and I was hooked from the get-go.

First, I have to say that McCormack's world building and settings are incredible. The senses were blasted in a detailed way without seeming (dare I say) too descriptiv
Dec 12, 2014 rated it really liked it
When Maeko finds a clockwork cat while running from Literati Officers she finds herself caught in the middle of political machinations between the ruling elite and the pirates who oppose them. When the wife and child of a famous inventor are murdered the blame immediately falls on the pirates but with detectives, assassins, businessmen, literati and pirates all pushing their own agenda it's hard knowing who is on her side and who will be the death of her.

She enlists the help of her partner in c
Aug 14, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Written in refreshing third person perspective, this novel delivers description, action, and moving characters in a pinwheel of strong, story momentum. There were times where direction dragged with a little too abundant description, but pace was never lost for long, and the subtle romance had me holding on throughout. Overall, an entertaining and even occasionally delightful read. Could have improved balance between certain elements, but certainly worth 3.5 stars.
Elle Christensen
This is my first foray into Steampunk fiction. What a great place to start!!

“The Girl with the Clockwork Cat” had me glued to the pages right away. Nikki McCormack is a fantastic storyteller. Her world building abilities dropped me right into Victorian London. I could see the dirty streets, the bustling people, and the intricate details of the Macak’s clockwork leg. I could smell the aromas in the kitchen, the stench of prison, and the smell of so many of the London places Maeko visited. It’s a
It’s no secret that I love reading steampunk. However, I personally think if you’re invested in writing a steampunk novel, you have to dedicate a lot of time in world building. I was intrigued by the synopsis (and the cover art) of the THE GIRL AND THE CLOCKWORK CAT, and obviously the title of the book screamed steampunk. In reality this story could have been set in any world or any time. Except for the occasional mention of airships and the clockwork cat, there really wasn’t much point in setti ...more
Sep 02, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle, arc
Note, I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review from Entagled Publishing.

An orphan child runs around town, dodging the law while trying to secure its next meal, branded a street rat. Sure, it may sound like a take on Disney's Aladdin, but The Girl and the Clockwork Cat by Nikki McCormack places this strong girl in the midst of a murder mystery in a Steampunk world where trust is even more precious than the tin used as currency.

Maeko doesn't consider herself a street rat, bu
Jessica Adkins-Charles
Maeko has been on her own since a young age. A street rat is what they call the children and others like her who live on the streets with no home to call their own and no place to go.

When Maeko finds a cat in an alleyway, she sees a friend, but the adventure the 'clockwork' cat leads her on leaves the cat her ally. In a race to clear the name of the kind gentlemen who treated her like a young lady and not a street rat, Maeko finds herself in dangerous waters.

Will Maeko be in time to save all the
Sep 05, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: love-love-love
Ok so going into this book I didn’t have high expectations. I wasn’t sure if this was going to be along the lines of a Nancy Drew type novel where a girl and her cat are looking for clues. Aaannddd now I am eating my words because I really liked this book and it was nothing of what I expected. I love when a book just blows away any pre-conceived thoughts and takes me on an unexpected journey. The story centers around Maeko who is 15 or 16 living on the streets of Victorian London. These streets ...more
Aug 27, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: earc
Thoughts prior to reading it:

I received an email from entangled and I saw the cover it had a girl and a cat in it and my inner crazy cat lady said “Ooo, a cat read it!” and just like that I gave in. I know I’m such a dork and a future crazy cat lady currently own two…. Anyways getting back on track I really didn’t know what this book was about. I just saw YA and thought this looks good. I know we shouldn’t judge a book by its cover but I always do, is that a bad thing? So a few days later after
Sep 01, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Girl and the Clockwork Cat by Nikki McCormack is also a YA novel, but perhaps for younger readers. Maekko is a young thief in a Steampunk version of London. On her own for years, the only stability in her life is provided by Chaff, head of a group of street rats--abandoned children who, like Maekko, steal to survive.

When Maekko and Chaff are interrupted during a robbery, the two split up; Maekko barely manages to escape the Literati officers, but finds temporary shelter and a cat with a cloc
Aug 29, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book! Definitely worth a read for anyone who enjoys a good adventure, mystery, and steampunk novel. For a longer review check out my blog! ...more
Apr 05, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have to admit that the main reason I got this book is because of the cat on the cover and "clockwork cat" in the title. As a fan of steampunk and a lover of cats, I thought for sure this book was for me.

Early on we meet Maeko and Chaff, street rats from old time steampunk London, and I was instantly intrigued with the story as they were breaking into a shop. Immediately we are introduced to Maeko's ability to survive on the streets as she runs and hides from the police. By now, still very earl
Jan 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Non-stop action

Makeo’s strong, independent character is softened with just enough vulnerability to make her human. This is despite her godlike ability to function for almost the entire book with minimal food or sleep. I really enjoyed the action, intrigue, characters and world building in this book.
Mar 19, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2019
3.5 stars

Yzabel Ginsberg
(I got a copy through NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.)

I had good expectations for this story (a street thief, victorian/steampunkish setting, part-mechanical cat), but in the end, it won't leave me with a lasting impression, unfortunately.

The daughter of a prostitute and one of her unnamed customers, Maeko hit the streets after her mother got in debt, trying to help her pay it back as well as she could, but also resenting her. She made her way as a pickpocket and burglar, thanks to
3.5 out of 5 stars

Maeko is a street rat with exceptional skills. One night, she stumbles across a cat with a clockwork leg. Before she knows it, she's hanging out with a bunch of pirate musicians and then she's in jail and the cat is gone. Luckily, Maeko's tiny and she can easily fit through the bars to escape. Something stops her, a man who begs her to free him. She does and once they're free, he turns on her. Then she stumbles into the office/apartment of the owner who made the cat's clockwork
Lelia Taylor
Aug 29, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: full-reviews
Steampunk fiction has been around for years but began to be really popular about 10-15 years ago. I had read a few pieces before then but I really fell into it with authors like Gail Carriger, S.M. Stirling and Cherie Priest. I gravitate towards fiction that is a mishmash of subgenres and steampunk does that very well, frequently being a blend of science fiction, mystery, dark fantasy, alternate history, maybe even post-apocalyptic and a few other elements. i liked it so much that, after a while ...more
Michael (Mai)
Sep 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Hey, guess who was pleasantly surprised by this little gem? That’s right. Me. I stayed up until 2:30a.m. reading because I wanted to finish.

Why was I so surprised? Actually, I judged a book by it’s cover and title. They were pretty much the only things about the book that I didn’t like. The Girl and the Clockwork Cat makes it seem like it’s a middle grade book that is going to lack depth, so does the cover. But truthfully, I hope most people aren’t like me and gives this book a chance because I
J. Nicole
Sep 02, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I can honestly say that one of my favorite characters would be a cat named Macak, but here I am. In my defense, the very idea of a clockwork cat is incredibly awesome, and not just because of how fun it is to say. If someone can bring that to reality, I'd love to have one. Plus, you know, actions speak louder than words, and this cat sure had some delightful behavior. But all cats aside, The Girl and the Clockwork Cat is a very enjoyable read. Fans of Steampunk will be able to devour this novel ...more
Nola Decker
Aug 23, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: steampunk
THE GIRL AND THE CLOCKWORK CAT took me right into a grimy, polluted steampunk Victorian London. Maeko, a homeless "street rat", accepts from kindness from a stranger and all kinds of trouble results. She gets wrapped up in a murder investigation and risks her life, as well as the lives of those around her, to make sure the right man is brought to justice.

The detailed world-building was at times too sensory--I felt like I needed to take a bath after Maeko's super slimy adventures by the ashbins!

Read all my reviews on

I received a free copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review, thank you!

Clockworks? Check! Airships? Check! Orphans? Check! London? Check!

Diagnosis: Steampunk.

Maeko has been living as a street rat for years now. Her mother a Japanese prostitute and her father unknown, no one really cares about her except Chaff, the leader of a street pickpocketing and burgling gang. When Maeko meet
Sep 08, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: steampunk lovers
Recommended to Ann by: Entangled
Shelves: save-the-day, bad-ass
Another new on my list, The Girl And The Clockwork Cat is all about Maeko and her quest on helping Ash(for a price of course) search for the truth. To my eyes the story is as fresh as mint chocolate chip ice cream. On one side there is this guy, Chaff who took her under his wing and without a doubt has a thing for her and then there is Ash and she thinks she is no good for him and not to mention she also have feelings for Chaff. Two cute guys will definitely give her a hard time. It is also quit ...more
Rating: 3 stars

When I first read the synopsis, I thought that the cat's name was Chaff and both Maeko and Chaff the "cat" want to explore their feelings for one another. Obviously, that is not the case. This is a YA book, but not in the way other books are. This doesn't focus on Maeko or her troubled home life, although she does go to get help from someone who she would never want to see again, but it does focus on the brutal murder and disappearance of Mr. Folesworth and his wife and daughter a
Wasn't a showstopper...

When half-Japanese thief Maeko stumbles upon a rather mysterious cat with a clockwork leg while hiding in an alley her life gets turned upside down. Encounters with cops, corpses, and criminals have her on the run with only her friend, Chaff, and Ash, a boy who's father might be a murderer to have her back. And... that's really it...

I am a terrible reviewer sometimes but this book kind of did that for me. There's just so much running about chasing from one problem to anoth
Sadie Forsythe
Not bad, though I thought it a tad over-long and (as always) I was annoyed to find a love triangle. Beyond that, I liked Maeko as a character and appreciated the somewhat dystopic steampunk London. I would have appreciated a bit more world-building though. My main complaint however, is that the whole premise of the book is anchored in a decision Maeko is supposed to have made at six, based on an overheard conversation. Even in a dystopian world, I can't believe a six-year-old would do what she's ...more
May 30, 2017 rated it liked it
Really I would rate this a 3.5. Very enjoyable story but definitely what I would classify as light reading. Aside from Maeko, the main character, I didn't see very much character development; this is more of a mystery/action novel (lots of chase scenes). The steampunk setting was described very well and I do plan to read the sequel. My main complaint is that the cover artist clearly knew nothing whatsoever about the story, as the girl never wears skirts or dresses and the cat's clockwork leg is ...more
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Nikki started writing her first novel at the age of 12, which she still has tucked in a briefcase in her home office, waiting for the right moment. Despite a successful short story publication with Cricket Magazine in 2007, she continued to treat her writing addiction as a hobby until a drop in the economy presented her with an abundance of free time that she used to focus on making it her career. ...more

Other books in the series

Clockwork Enterprises (3 books)
  • The Girl and the Clockwork Conspiracy (Clockwork Enterprises, #2)
  • The Girl and the Clockwork Crossfire (Clockwork Enterprises #3)

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